Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast is quite the dynamic destination, and Split stands out as one of Croatia’s most well-rounded cities. This coastal paradise has tons to offer travelers of all ages and interests, all of which are featured in this Split itinerary. If you’re a history buff, you’ll find yourself in awe of the city’s remarkably well-preserved Roman ruins. and have plenty of things to do. If you’re into cultural exploration, then get ready for Split’s stunning art galleries and theater performances. If you’re all about the outdoors, then you’ll definitely want to check out the city’s hills, mountains, and — how could we forget — beaches. Whether you’re looking to party or relax, you’re sure to have a memorable stay in Split, Croatia. Because there’s so much to see and do in Croatia, it can be hard to craft an itinerary that covers all of the city’s hottest spots. But don’t worry: we’re here to help. We’ve created the perfect 48 hour itinerary to help you start exploring one of our favorite cities in Croatia.
Split’s history goes way back. It was first settled as a Greek colony around the 3rd century B.C., and the city started to really take off after it became a Roman possession. Since it’s is such an old city, it makes sense that there’s tons of history and culture to explore here. Enjoy your first day by digging deeper into the ancient roots and distinctive traditions of Split, Croatia.
Morning: Explore the ruins
Split first came to fame rather by chance. It all came down to location: its neighbor, Salona, was the capital of the Roman Province of Dalmatia and around the end of the 3rd century, Roman Emperor Diocletian was looking to build a retirement palace nearby. The city was chosen as the site for what became Diocletian’s Palace, which today is known as the world’s most complete remains of a Roman palace. The structure has been remarkably well-preserved, just like the neighboring St. Domnius Cathedral and Temple of Jupiter. All of these landmarks were first built in Roman times and remain quite pristine to this day. Spend your first morning in Split at the center of the Old Town, and explore these ancient ruins to get a taste of the city’s Roman past.
Lunchtime: Grab a meal in the Old Town
Once you’ve marveled at the Roman ruins, head deeper into the Old Town to check out the dozens of restaurants that populate Split’s narrow alleyways. There’s tons of delicious food options in this area, and most of them have outdoor seating which is great for enjoying the city’s temperate climate. If you’re looking for Dalmatian cuisine, try finding a restaurant that has a name beginning with “Konoba”. In Croatia, this term is used to describe restaurants that are registered providers of traditional Dalmatian food. So if you see the word Konoba, you know you’re in for a great meal.
Afternoon: Get cultured at the top museums in Split, Croatia
Contextualize your exploration of Split by stopping by the city’s museums. If you’re looking to learn even more about the city’s past, step into the Muzej Grade Splita. Inside this beautiful building, you’ll find answers to all the questions you may have about the history of the city. You can dig deeper into its Roman roots, its Byzantine period, and its Hapsburg times – and beyond. If you’re more interested in checking out art history, then stop by the Galerija Meštrović. This beautiful, enormous villa displays the works of Croatian artist Ivan Meštrović, and as you explore the estate’s interior, its chapel, and its gardens, you’ll gain more insight into the life and art of this iconic Croatian sculptor, architect, and author.
Evening: Chill out by the Riva Promenade
Round out your day by relaxing on the Riva Promenade. This is Split’s main waterfront, and from here you can enjoy sweeping views of the bright blue Adriatic Sea. There are tons of restaurants, bars, and cafes right on the promenade, which are ideal spots from which you can appreciate the sheer beauty of the Dalmatian coast. We’d recommend heading around to the Promenade around sunset, as there are few sights more awe-inspiring than a setting sun over a sparkling blue sea.
Now that you’ve gotten a taste of history and culture in Split, it’s time to get out into the great outdoors. There’s tons you can do in terms of outdoor exploration here, from kayaking in the sea, to hiking up hills, and to canyoneering in, well, canyons.
Morning: Hike at Park Marjan
Park Marjan is an outdoor adventurer’s dream, complete with hiking trails, a botanical garden, and jaw-dropping look out points. If you’re up for a trek, take the stairs up to climb the Marjan Hill. It’s topped with a cross and the Croatian flag, and once you’re up you’ll be rewarded with incredible birds-eye views of Split. Thanks to the ancient pine trees, you’ll also have plenty of shade, which means that this is a great place to lay back and relax. Just make sure you bring some water and snacks with you, as there aren’t tons of options for sustenance on the way up.
Lunchtime: Picnic by the water
Once you’ve climbed down Marjan Hill, it’s time to head to Bene Beach. Bene Beach is located just below Marjan Hill, and it is a great place for a waterside picnic as it tends to not too crowded. Tons of people flock to Bene Beach to participate in watersport activities, like kayaking or paddleboarding. If you’re interested, there are plenty of water-based experiences you can book in Split. If you’d prefer to rest up after your hike, however, then make sure to pick up some food from a nearby grocery store and set up a picnic on Bene’s shores. The water is so clear it’s almost transparent, and a quick dip in is remarkably refreshing. You will swoon at the site of Split sunsets.
Afternoon: Relax at Beach Bacvice
Beach Bacvice is probably Split’s most popular beach, and it’s got its sandy shores to thank for this distinction. While most Croatian beaches are covered in pebbles, Bacvice is delightfully sandy. This is one of the places where you can tan comfortably, so be sure to bring your sun tan lotion along. It’s popular among tourists of all ages, and with over 20-feet of bright blue water, Bacvice makes for a great swimming spot. While you’re here, make sure to participate in picigin, a game of group hacky sack played with a racquetball that will put your family beach volleyball tournaments to shame.
Evening: Spend the night at the beach
Bacvice is immensely popular during the daytime, but it’s even more vibrant at night. If you’re looking to party by the beach, then look no further than Bačvice. When all else fails and the bars shut down, Bačvice will be faithfully waiting for you with its dance floors popping. You’ll come across lots of other tourists here, and no matter the day of the week, you’ll be up for an exciting night. If hard partying isn’t your thing, you can also find tons of cafes nearby that serve some delightfully refreshing nonalcoholic beverages — with a bonus beachside view, of course. End your last night in Split with some beachy fun!